Then & Now
Hopscotch battle scar: Bathroom floor imprints:
Noonday sun Fluorescent lights
Soft breezes Warm sweat
Ambient chatter & care-free laughter Resonant moans & breathy sighs
Balance & speed Stamina & form
We sleep with raw hands and mouths agape.
Transmutation of these walls and boundaries-
The world opens wide as do I
…and I am…
quiet amidst these benevolent tempests.
Air or pneuma (there is no distinction)
as we draw
vectors in the aether.
During a weird robot Armageddon:
The sky was grey with black clouds of smoke and pillars of fire from the rampant destruction all around. Large machines were steamrolling over major cities all over the world. I was currently in one such city. I got the sense that I had been with my intimates, a number of them, before the hellfire started. Coming into consciousness of the dream mid-run, I only saw one recognizable face keeping up with me: Y. We were headed to the nearest intact building for an emergency town meeting. Horns were sounding all around as people scurried in a frenzy, like ants from insecticide. Amid the chaos, some of us managed to dodge falling debri and keep our wits about us.
Y and I safely found our way into the building. Once inside, I noticed that it was an old, somewhat modest Catholic church. A town leader, sweating and bloodied, was pacing at the altar with papers and weapons in hand. Y and I caught our breath in one of the pews.
“We can’t wait for everyone,” the leader said. To the people just coming in: “Close that door. We have to make this quick before they destroy this building, too.” With that, he began ranting about devising action plans, taking certain escape routes out of the city and forming escape groups. Despite his words and thin veil of encouragement, the people were losing hope fast. Painful shrieks and catastrophic scenes had already broken their spirit. Most people in the church were mouthing prayers or beseeching their personal god. It was evident that the majority was not listening to his words, but, instead, they were making peace with their imminent end.
Y started saying something; I phased in mid-stream and caught that she didn’t want to remain here. “This is likely our final hours, right?” She stated.
“Then let’s go. I don’t want to be here with these people waiting for death.”
“OK,” I said. “Where are we going?”
We both looked to the ancient, defunct citadel with the historic belfry that had always been restricted to the public. “I’ve always wanted to go inside and sit at the top.” She said.
“Me too.” I smiled.
We exited through the front door of the church. There was so much commotion and catharsis inside that no one noticed. Outside, fiery debri still rained from the sky and maelstroms of sound emanated from the machines that ripped through the town. We ran the mile in our ragged clothes under smoke and oil. Once inside the belfry, we fell beside the staircase to catch our breath and share some water before our long ascension. We talked about the missing as we hiked the stairs. She was torn apart at losing track of K. I was equally saddened by the separation from W1 and W2.
In the middle of the staircase, there was a strange opening to a room. It was a small room, with only enough space for a narrow mattress and a shelf. Decorations were scarce. The few apparent were all spiritually-oriented. We took repose in the room, again to share what little water was left, attempting to spare some for our tenuous future. The desperation within us came out in that room. To share fears at the proverbial 11th hour was foolishness, so, instead, we shared secret desires and fond memories. Amidst our conversation, sexual feelings arose. Though the end of the world seems like an inappropriate time to engage in such activities, it is also perhaps the most appropriate time. There wasn’t much of a conversation about my inexperience with women, as Y already knew that. I wasn’t particularly awkward, which was better for both of us.
After a brief and superficial tryst, we had made our way to the top of the bell tower. There was a large open area with a ledge where we both decided to sit. She leaned against the right side while I took to the left. From our perch, we watched the city burn and the sky turn colors. We knew that the destruction of the tower was inevitable, but at least we’d be at peace in a place above the world of humans when the final blow came.
Once upon a time, I did have a Facebook account. I filled out all the necessary profile sections. I poked people and left cheeky comments on their wall. I gave virtual birthday “gifts” to “friends.” As I watched my time and energy slipping away into the superficial social sieve, I realized something very important: Facebook did not, overall, enhance my quality of life. If anything, it contributed to stress, anxiety and negative thought cycles. So several years ago, I blew up my account; I haven’t looked back since. I have no regrets for leaving that social media platform. (Wait, that’s a lie. I have one minor regret: Keeping up with my favorite local events is not as effortless as it can be on Facebook. If Facebook offers me anything I consider great, it would be the ability to get info and reminders on events in the area. That’s it. Really.) Below are the detailed reasons I chose to leave, and why my life is better without Facebook.
1. It’s a colossal distraction.
Like its social network cousins, Facebook is hungry for attention. Every time one signs into Facebook, a barrage of updates, invitations, comments and photos floods the individual’s brain. What to look at or respond to first? Yeah, maybe I DID walk over to my desk before lunch to check my email, note down pertinent information, finish that review, pay bills, organize my calendar for the week or look up a paper. Facebook is just one more thing to check up on in that extensive electronic to-do list, but once I am in its clutches, hours and life escape me in the favor of voyeurism and gossip. And that to-do list? Forget it. I already did. What did I come to my desk to do anyway? Ah well, it will come back to me later. Must not have been important, right? (3 hours later: “Oh, fuck! The review!” Two days later: “What time did I say I’d turn my samples in the other day? Hmm… I wonder why I didn’t take note.”)
2. It fosters destructive behavior.
There are many unsavory temptations that Facebook makes it all too easy to indulge. Some are listed below, but everyone has their personal favorites.
Stalking: That awesome stranger you briefly and superficially met at that party. Y’know, the one with the sexy walk and mysterious eyes. Look at that! S/he’s friends with your friends. You’ll just check out their page for a second… just to get an idea of music they like, who they hang with, what books they read. Maybe you two would really hit it off! Seconds become minutes become hours after days of revisiting the photo stream and profile. Surfing all the tagged photos, the displayed banter and little tidbits of info here and there, you are able to construct an image of this person from their public, virtual self. In your head, you two are vacationing on sandy beaches or rocking out at a show. They’ve appeared in your dreams, and you wonder why some of the people you meet can’t be more like your crush. Should you friend them? You know they will be at X’s party; you saw the RSVP. Maybe you should go, too, even though you’re not particularly fond of X… All of this, and you’ve only had one or two insubstantial conversations with your crush. You don’t even KNOW them. Really, you don’t.
On my end, I am the Stalked, not the Stalker. And I hate that shit. I’m not putting my life out there for others to eat up, twist around in their heads and regurgitate back out to someone else I may or may not know. Which brings me to the next point:
Gossiping: Want the dirt on someone? Well, thankfully, Facebook allows just about anyone to display tasty morsels about anyone they may know, even superficially. Got photos? Got opinions about friends of friends? Why not use their real, full names in the nasty comments? See them drunk at that party? All the better!
Passive aggressiveness: I think the adult general public can all agree that passive aggressiveness is typically “not a good thing.” As in, it usually isn’t conducive to open communication, understanding or bond-forming. It usually acts as a wall or an abrasive stimulus, driving people away from each other. Facebook provides yet another forum for us to express passive aggressiveness. Angry at someone? De-friend them; they’ll get the hint. Block them. And then if/when other “friends” ask about the virtual separation, dish the details. Passive aggressiveness gone public! Oh, and if you’re in a relationship that seems to be souring, just change that relationship status. Maybe your S.O. will see it. Maybe they’ll try to have a talk about it, and maybe part of the conversation will go this way: “But all these virtual indications of relationship status aren’t “real” anyway. They don’t matter, really, baby.”
These secret or subtle actions have a profound influence on our psychology. Stalking online, though more effortlessly covert than real life stalking, holds the same power to distort images in the mind and enrich to-be-unfulfilled (and sometimes dangerous) fantasy. The imaginary relationship often holds no promise, and, more likely, damages any future potential by feeding the Stalker’s unfounded expectations and by righteously pissing off or scaring the Stalked.
Is this what you want?
Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted, obsessive attention by individuals (and sometimes groups of people) to others. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation. The word “stalking” is used, with some differing meanings, in psychology and psychiatry and also in some legal jurisdictions as a term for a criminal offense. It may also be used to refer to criminal offences or civil wrongs that include conduct which some people consider to be stalking, such as those described in law as “harassment” or similar terms.
Again, actions online have a very real and potentially significant influence on our non-cyber lives. By changing our relationship status online or de-friending someone, we’re sending out a signal to the public as well as reinforcing our own thoughts and intentions. We can become wrapped up in online responses (or lack thereof). Are these online responses or behavior really genuine? Would they be different face-to-face?
Oh, gods, the the dumb games with the ridiculous updates. No, no and no, I don’t want to play your ninjas-eating-babies vs. vampires-wearing-silly-hats games. And I really don’t care who is playing them and what is happening over there. Also, I don’t need Facebook to suggest to me with whom I should be friends or may know (refer back to the Stalking section, please). There should be a way to filter out all status updates that have to do with any bodily function, this includes everything from eating food to being ill.
4. Sponsored Stories
Retch. If data mining and incessant advertising aren’t enough, let’s give corporations one more avenue into our lives. ‘Cause, you know, Starbucks needs some advertising help. Really? Really.
I was split in two: one to ride the chariot in the sky, the other to look after the blonde girl. I picked up a handsome stranger the same time I arranged the gemstones in accordance to constellation correspondences. The Light ran out too quick after numerous interruptions), so we had to promise the blonde girl “another time.” At least I got to ride the sky chariot though.
I was a man with talent for negotiation. As the sky burned liquid fire, I was faced with ‘Transcriptions That Never Were.’ I was silently nominated to deal with the demon that promised momentary protection from the fires. The group around me cowered before the skeletal spectre, grinning like a maniac; he didn’t scare me in the least. Neither ink nor blood was laid to paper. The Scorpions burst through the door, many filled with intent to kill. The demon called his legions and fled. I inquired about the promised protection, to which he replied with considerable delight: “I never said I would protect you from the world of men. That is your own affair.” I became claustrophobic as The Scorpions’ shadows engulfed the room.
My head ached. Tilting it just so, I was able to pry a neon green sandal from my nose.
The line moved quickly as each individual raced down the chute without much regard for the previous rider. While I thought it was a foolhardy decision, I was pleased with each inch closer it delivered me to the open mouth of the slide and unknown route of the plastic tongue. My bare feet arched away from the dry and pointy floor boards. Under normal circumstances, I would have never surrendered my feet to such sharp and dubious unfinished wood. But I was drawn to this ride in ways that still eluded my logical mind. The support structure was old, rickety, unstable, with splinter teeth that pulled away from the beams. Separate pieces of the poorly molded, plastic chute was connected together shoddily; stinging ridges bit at the flesh that bulleted by. Brown water cradled the body on its journey, leaving a rank, organic film on the skin after emergence on …wherever the Other Side was.
Come to think of it, I could not recall if I ever saw the patrons that rode exit in the same place… if they exited at all. Thinking on the matter (though not much), my eyes barely recognized the fact that there was now only two people ahead of me. I had previously decided that I was going to wait a full thirty seconds, at least, after the person in front of me went in to dart down myself. I didn’t want my ride to be spoiled by rider collisions or an obstructed view. (Nothing is more dissatisfying than having another’s experience infringe upon one’s own when submitting to the Great Letting Go.)
The brunette (about my age) in the bright red bathing suit was having trouble committing to the action. She sat, then stood, then sat again. Looking back at us with an apologetic smile, she stood up again and began stepping forward and back in a ritualistic, indecisive dance. The boy with matted (blonde?) hair ahead of me (about a decade our junior) crossed his dirt-caked arms and began rolling his eyes in melodramatic exasperation. In an attempt to overcome her own apprehension and to break the rising impatience around her, the brunette laughed nervously and made a self-deprecating comment, mostly to herself though she was looking at me and the boy for reassurance. The boy tilted his head back and looked down his nose at her before muttering “I’m done waiting,” and popped into a streamline as he belly-flopped in the shallow water. Splashed with murky water, she frowned a little as she looked down at her suit. Her eyes then asked me to wait for her, and I obliged after feigning consideration by summoning words of encouragement. After a couple more minutes and some impatient groans from the others in line, she tentatively pushed herself down the shoot, her eyes looking for support from the sky, the random seagull, the hazy sun, or anything else that might be sympathetic to her confused desires.
Finally, my turn. My lips took their time rounding over silent numbers as I counted the seconds since her departure. Peering into the floating grime and muddled reflections, my mind glossed over the possibilities of where I was headed or why I wanted to do this at all. There was no sensible reason, just these etheric hands guiding me to the mouth and my insatiable curiosity. I stepped into the water; it was lukewarm and a little gritty. My feet wanted to recoil, and my nose crinkled. But I pushed the criticisms and warnings about sanitation down, and realigned my determination with my curiosity and necessity for novelty. Head-first or feet-first? Sitting upright or lying down? I don’t remember which position I chose before launching myself into the Unknown.
Brackish water, slung to the sides of the chute, flowed into my nostrils and partially open mouth. The light shifted from the yellow-white haze of polluted city daylight to sudden black as I passed between open and tunneled segments. Adrenaline began to surge with each new twist or sensation. I spilled down hills and whipped around turns, the underside of my thighs, against the plastic, hot from the speed. Passing swiftly through the air within the tunnels, smells of mold and organic decay were augmented. Was I now in the alimentary system, headed to the belly of the ride? I kept going down…
“Hello, and welcome.”
A lean, attractive man with dark, curly locks behaving erratically over his hazel eyes greeted me. I took his warm hand, extended from a flamboyant cuff of a blouse underneath a burgundy jacket sleeve. I held my hand in his, and let him initiate his measured shake. I didn’t want him to let go; he caught it and cleared his throat as he dropped my hand. “First time?” He asked me.
I raised a well-groomed eyebrow and gave a bit of a smirk as I headed off to the iridescent purple-blue-green wall to my left. Light (unknown, artificial-looking source) danced of the facets, enough to give those with a predisposition towards it seizures. The more I moved, the more light danced. At this point, I noticed I was holding something. A collection of prints, photos and papers in a somewhat ragged but thick gray folder. I repositioned it securely under my arm, freeing up both hands to explore the intricacies of the wall. As if my hands were trained, they found several nooks and niches quite easily. I sensed the organization within the wall and intuitively found its switches and safes. Pressing it just so, I managed to open a section up for me to step into. As I moved within and between the crystalline walls, I found artwork, lockers and old arcade games wither made of or embedded into the walls. High above me were small trails on shining crystal; higher still were ornate chandeliers and hanging lanterns made from the iridescent matter.I saw no particular structure I could call a ceiling though.
A pull on my shoulder to my right. My hand slid softly over the cool, smooth faces of the lockers until I felt the urge to stop. Tap, tap, tap in three specific locations on the face, and the locker clicked open. Nothing remarkable was inside, merely small trinkets that I didn’t recognize. I shut the locker quietly and continued to explore, walking down random hallways, following my whim.
Telegraphic snow sputtered high on the wall in one room to which I was delivered. No projection source could be identified. The crystalline hearth was a few hues lighter than the walls and stood out considerably. I doubted it housed any fire known to mortals. (I was unsure if there indeed was a fire burning inside that my human eyes mistook for confusing light play.) I walked passed the stools and benches. Didn’t indulge in the presented foodstuffs on the table (they all looked to shiny and waxy anyway). Images flickered (in front of me? behind me? within me?). Geometric shapes rotated in spaces that switched in and out again rapidly. Each rotating object looked like glass etchings, condensed fog or spiderwebs. My pointed finger crooked outward to the empty space around me in anticipation and hesitation. I simultaneously wanted to and didn’t want to touch. As I moved slowly to the other walls within the room, I found rotating objects seemingly embedded into or projected out of the walls. Some looked in/out only inches from the surface of the walls, while others looked in/out many feet or yards.
I stopped in front of a rotating cube that seemingly hovered about six inches into the wall. Its movements switched between fluid and jagged, spinning effortlessly for a few seconds before it began snapping through differing positions abruptly, like skipping music. The cube itself could fit within the palm of my hand. I decided that it pleased me and that I was going to take it. The task of pushing my hands into the wall was surprisingly easy. There was some tension and pressure around my skin and between my veins, but movement within the wall was much like shifting solid sheets or disks through molasses. Move slowly and with purpose, and flesh could adapt (or the wall could adapt to flesh) just fine. Move quickly and unpredictably, perhaps the sheets would feel like needles or knives. My hands closed in around a rectangular structure that seemed to be the ‘container’ for the cube. It felt a few inches thick, like a frame that I could clasp tightly between my thumb and the rest of my fingers. Extracting it took some time, pulling treasure through what felt like drying concrete now.
It came out dry and thin, no thicker than cardboard. On it was what looked to be a drawing of the cube (pencil), a composite of all the positions within one space. Lines pointed from areas on/within the cube, leading outward to the empty space, where math and unknown symbols were scribbled. I ran my fingers over the writing, detected no grooves or smudging; the markings were permanent. Picking at the edges of the ‘cardboard,’ I found that this, too, was seemingly indestructible, at least from superficial insult. I stowed the cubeboard in my gray folder and easily found my way back to the main room, where I had been greeted.
To my delight, the dark-haired man was still there, almost in the exact spot where I last saw him. His eyes caught me instantly, though he was in the process of greeting others; he shifted them quickly back to the other woman so to not appear rude. I felt his calls in the quick glances he stole and his shifted stance, pointing a foot my way. His hand unsuccessfully fought the urge to gesture to me ‘one moment;’ the microsecond message conveyed perhaps unconsciously with the hand that rested by his side while the other gesticulated a show for the woman. I hung back patiently and enjoyed watching him become slightly antsy. After some more words, the woman thanked him, took something from him (a flier? a pamphlet?) and walked away. He began to say something to another greeter, probably excusing himself for a bit, and then my view was obstructed by a cleanly shaven, bald, attractive man in thick, black framed glasses. My eyes attempted to dart pass him, but he moved with my intentions so that he was the focus. I’m sure my annoyance was written clearly on my face, but he just ignored it as he donned his charm-laden smile and continued his welcome spiel. Most of his words ran right past my brain without a hint of acknowledgment, except for “Labyrinth.”
“Blah blah The Labyrinth blah blah. Maps and guides, blah, blah, blah. The Labyrinth blah blah blah.”
I almost asked about this title when a hand, complete with the ivory and burgundy, patted the bald greeter’s shoulder. “I got this,” my hazel-eyed man said as he motioned to me. The greeters exchanged looks of contempt and irritation. No doubt this exchange aired the subdued competition. I wondered if all the greeters were in competition with one another. Looking around, I took note of a handful of other greeters, both men and women, that spotted the quiet tension. Most turned away quickly after a facial tick of commentary.
A shit-eating grin came across the bald man’s face. “Of course you do.”
My man came between me and the bald man and turned back to the other greeter, waiting for him to leave us. “Is she new here?” My man was not expecting the question and furrowed his brow. “Because you know, newcomers are not allowed to roam the halls without an escort. Surely you already asked her that before you allowed her to scout the area.” This was not a question; it was a threat.
“I am not new here, in fact.” I said, stepping up so I was just beside my man.
“Oh,” the bald man said rather loudly with much affectation, drawing the attention of other greeters and newcomers alike. “My mistake. Terribly sorry. You must already know Ted. I’ll just leave you two alone.” He proceeded to dig his heels in and put his index finger to his chin. “It’s just…” he shook his head a little. “Well, it’s just that… I’ve been here for a while and I can’t seem to place you.” He stared at me with a smirk he let leak out the sides of his mouth as he feigned bewilderment. The tenacious bastard was engaging in foreplay before the inevitable interrogation.
“My look changes quite frequently.”
He nodded. “Hm. Well…” he looked me over, making it obvious to both me and Ted that he was indeed checking me out. “I have a knack for remembering…” Pause and his eyes slid down my body. “…faces. And I’m sure I’d remember you.” He winked.
I shifted my stance, brushing up against Ted. I felt the heat licking off his body; his stony face did not betray the hot temper.
I was beginning a reaming about how none of this was any of his business when the bald guy’s aura changed. “What is that?” He motioned to the folder. Again, not a question, an accusation of some sort.
At this point, some of the other greeters gravitated over and were bending their ears (not so subtly either) to hear us. I looked down at it, now in my hand, and raised it in front of me to examine it. I didn’t really know what it was. I knew it was mine; I had the feeling it held important information. But the only piece of information I was sure about was the cubeboard. I hadn’t felt the urge to check to see what else it held. To him, I probably either looked like I was a moron or that I was taunting him, staring blankly at the folder that I flipped and turned in front of us. He clenched his jaw and took my uncertainty for provocation. Quickly, the folder was snatched up and pulled open by the shithead greeter.
Inside there were notebook pages full of diagrams and comments, the cubeboard, a moving snapshot of what looked to be static and snow, fluid apparitions contained in tablets and numerous photos and sketches. He leafed through some, moving away while trying to focus. Ted grabbed at the folder and many sheets fell to the ground. We regained possession of the folder and I crouched down to gather up the notes. Onlookers could not make sense of the contents of the folder nor our squabble. It seemed some eavesdropping greeters may have had an idea about what was going on, why the contents of the folder might be important, and who I could potentially be or represent. (I still had no idea though.) Ted kicked the bald man away as he was trying to shout something. Another greeter, a 30-some man with long brown hair and an easy-going vibe, pulled the bald man off in another direction, telling him to calm down. Female greeters started at the scattered materials without assisting.
After Ted and I reassembled the notebook, a small swarm of people closed in around us. Salespeople? They were definitely trying to solicit something to me, each one pushing a folder in my hand and attempting to talk louder than the other. Many of them were women in skirt suits and updos with bleached smiles and tired eyes that strained to twinkle brighter than her neighbor’s. Ted attempted to keep them within arm’s length, holding up his hand while trying to get their attention. “Ladies!” And then “Sir, please, don’t crowd us,” as a well-dressed man with a comb-over squeezed his way to the front. As Ted pushed back at the crowd, I looked down at all the folders being tossed my way. Many had names scrawled across the front in fancy fonts. Some had photos, phone numbers, emails, ID numbers or hologram images. Every folder was crisp, clean, eye-catching, pretense oozing from every square centimeter.
The squawking was silenced by Ted’s impressive bellow. “You all must leave now. You are intruding on our time.”
Catty remarks and sour looks were flung in Ted’s direction. A lot of “She would be better off with so-and-so,” and “How did he get so lucky?” “What does she think she is doing with him?” “He doesn’t know what he’s doing.” “She doesn’t know what she’s doing.” “Probably worthless anyway…” One young woman demanded that Ted give me his folder, waving her finger in the name of Protocol and Rules. She crossed her arms, intent on watching him complete the task.
With a sigh, he removed the light gray, ratty folder from his inside jacket pocket. Coffee and water stains rippled the fibers and curled the edges. Frayed edges of worn notebook and sketch paper stuck out the sides, no flaps holding them in place. Quotes and lyrics were written in black ink and marker across the back. Turning over, big bold letters declared “TED FUCKS.” My eyebrows went up. He pressed his lips together, glanced at the floor before shrugging with a smile.
The woman stepped up to me and whispered, loud enough for Ted to hear, “If you want any serious work done, call me.” She handed me her smooth, thick folder. Shooting Ted a contemptuous look, she headed off, heels clicking with purposeful rhythm. Ted began to lean in, and, as if she had Ted-deflating radar, she shouted without turning “In fact, call anyone else besides him.” Her clicking heels did not miss a beat.
I tapped my finger lightly over the declarative, revealing phrase on Ted’s folder. My inquisition was soften by playfulness. He exhaled, shrugged with open hands and said, “Everyone takes everything too seriously around here.”
I looked at the folder, “Ted fucks, huh?”
He proffered a sheepish smile, executed horribly; the obvious slight dilation of his pupils and mischievous glint in his eyes destroyed and feign of innocence. I had no line of questioning regarding his interest in me; I already fully knew it from his physical responses. His shiftiness indicated some uncertainty in his speculation of what I thought of him. So I smiled. “Good to know.” He let out a relieved laugh, and before he could get too distracted, I sat in a nearby chair and motioned for him to come sit next to me. “I have something to show you.” I opened my folder on my lap as he came and took his seat next to me.
Shuffling through the materials, I came to the cubeboard. “That.” I said as I pointed to it. I didn’t pick it up; instead, I let him lean across my chest so that his face would have to come near my breast, his breath hitting my bare neck and collarbone as he moved in close to see the writing. And if we didn’t have such things to talk about, I would have goaded him into taking me right there. After being momentarily distracted by my flesh, he focused on the cubeboard. “Huh,” and he laughed a little in delight.
“You know what it is?”
He nodded enthusiastically. “Yup, I know exactly what this is. And I feel fortunate to know the person that can Extract.” It was a compliment, the underlying implications I could not completely grasp. He was excited, and though I saw the intention on his face, the kiss still came as a bit of a surprise. He tasted sweet; we lingered. Then he stood up and took my hand. “Come on. I have a lot to show you, and we have a lot to talk about. Here is not the place.”
I gathered up the folders (mine and his), leaving the rest behind in a messy pile. Through the river of people, we made our way quietly and efficiently to the entrance of The Labyrinth. We disappeared like ghosts behind the glittering walls, and I felt cradled by warmth.
Passing it on:
What does this celestial coincidence mean to you?
These new symmetries are, however, far more abstract than anything dealt with so far, for they cannot be referred in any any direct way to the properties of space and time. Take for example a familiar-sounding property, the “spin” of the proton or electron, one of those quantum properties that gives rise to the symmetry patterns of the elementary particles. At first sight this evokes the picture of a tiny ball spinning in space. However, it is clear that such a simplistic interpretation – a spinning ball – cannot be applied to quantum particles. Indeed, it is not strictly possible to speak of a proton or electron as having any dimensions at all. Rather the mathematical transformations of the proton’s wave function have all the appearance of something analogous to spin. The proton, therefore, does not spin – its mathematical wave function simply transforms in a way that is analogous to the mathematical description of a spinning ball.
–Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Mind and Matter by F. David Peat
Book Two: LXIV
It is easy to maintain a situation while it is still secure;
It is easy to deal with a situation before symptoms develop;
It is easy to break a thing when it is yet brittle;
It is easy to dissolve a thing when it is yet minute.
Deal with a thing while it is still nothing;
Keep a thing in order before disorder sets in.
A tree that can fill the span of a man’s arms
Grows from a downy tip;
A terrace nine stories high
Rises from hodfuls of earth;
A journey of a thousand miles
Starts from beneath one’s feet.
Whoever does anything to it will ruin it; whoever lays hold of it will lose it.
Therefore the sage, because he does nothing, never ruins anything; and, because he does not lay hold of anything, loses nothing.
In their enterprises the people
Always ruin them when on the verge of success.
Be as careful at the end as at the beginning
And there will be no ruined enterprises.
Therefore the sage desires not to desire
And does not value goods which are hard to come by;
Learns to be without learning
And makes good the mistakes of the multitude
In order to help the myriad of creatures to be natural and to refrain from daring to act.
– Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
And… today’s single rune draw:
All I really need to do is feign vanishing, close my door or windows, and then they start knocking and peeking in. When I am open and calling, no one’s home. Funny how we switch our status dependent upon others’ availability. How much of a social creature are we? …One with THINGS to prove.
Our food is a poor mimicry of the natural world. We are divorced from our land and our crops; we are married to industry and infatuated with “freedom.”
(How can one live by oneself forever?)
We see mathematical programming, and we think “nature.”
Let’s not forget who we are, sitting on the edge of the world.
The writer experiences; the readers wish to. How many readers are there to writers proportionally? Writers need to remember chronology, or intuit it. They are on the outside, playing god… while musicians are IN IT so completely that they diffuse to the water surface over all.
Dates are really just new titles.
I love being injected into a band’s life for tasting. Sometimes our palettes are so close, it floors me.
When we cannot orient ourselves, we look for reflections; it’s a natural occurrence.
Sometimes I really hate the outside world, and the choices it made without me. When did we all become arbitrary numbers? *thinks*… however…. Arbitrary numbers will always perpetuate themselves in arbitrary systems. Do we act out in these human-suits, (for so long we have worn them after the war), being arbitrary numbers? Or do we shed our suits and demolish the system?
The writing prompt I was given: “Write, taking off from visual projections, whether mental or mechanical, without thought to the word in the ordinary sense, no craft” is my default “how”… just the Way I am. People actively ignore their senses constantly. It fascinates me what people need to be prompted on and what they do not.
I kn(o/e)w the ending at the beginning and vice versa… if the speed of light means anything to you.
…1100 words in no particular order conveying fantastical imagery of pierced-sky blue and we all, at every end, curling the space up and out so we all meet again.
(We never live completely alone.)
DISCIPLINE has its own temptations; don’t let them make you believe differently. (It is the values of steps that we drew out.)
Remember that we all kept the same stories…
So that we could tell them to each other
And share them at each round.
Convince yourself that a story heard from back to forwards is the same story as heard from the front to back. All stories are the same story… there are always loose ends, but never ends. We cannot be pulled from the paper, the story, the position until it is all out. This is why people hang on; to get it all out.
Reattach Men Slow
Ancestral Wet Ohm
Settle A Charm Now
Sacrament The Owl
A Castle, Then Worm
Who Melts A Trance
Castrate Men Howl
Watchman, Else Rot
Canal Meets Worth
A Worm, Then Castle
Mothers Wet Canal
Two Carnal Themes
Mew A Harlot Scent
Wham A Recent Slot
A Camel When Trots
Transact Whole Me
Her Canal Most Wet
Won Carat Helmets
Cow Letter Shaman
A Rematch Lest Own
Worth A Male Scent
A Mental Hot Screw
Lets A Wretch Moan
Whet A Smart Clone
Saw A Trench Motel
The New Rascal Tom
Attach, Else Mr Now
He Met Worst Canal
Carnal, She Met Two
A Hot Welt; Men Scar
Cast Her A New Molt
The night was a haze of visions.
A majority of my memories centers around a cabin in the woods. In one storyline, it was the setting of a romantic assignation. Up in the loft, I rolled between milk-white sheets in the sparkling rays of the morning sun. He had already left the bed. I inhaled his scent and savored the lingering sex in the air. My body was like a sponge for the delicious indulgence of pure sensation. Every touch was a secret luxury. When he returned upstairs, the light danced off of him like fire-water. Each ripple of his perfectly cut body was accentuated; the way his skin shone caused my eyes to retreat back beneath my eyelids every now and again. Sadly, I cannot remember his face, but every fiber of me knows him, my Lover, as The Morning Star.
At the next flicker, the cabin has changed, as the inhabitants have as well. I’m a little girl, no more than ten years old. I see a tall man lumbering through the cabin in a state of dismay. He is not my father. I hold my doll tightly to my chest as I watch him pace in front of the roaring fire. The walls reflect red flames woven between menacing shadows. I am silent.
The scene shifts yet again. Where my doll was a second ago there is now a suitcase of sorts. The pacing older man has become a sly devil of a charmer. His eyes undress me as he places my bag on the chair nearby. The wolf’s tail, poking out from underneath his unbuttoned, oversized, collared shirt, flicks with pleasure as he lunges in to taste my neck. My hand reaches up the back of his head, tugging at his hair and caressing his pointed ears. Between my fingers there’s fur or skin as one transitions into the other and back again.
The red walls seem to close in on me, and I can see the monsters that have emerged from the shadows. They stand beside me and behind me with their hands on my shoulders, acting as caretakers. The door slams behind the pacing man as he storms out into the night. I am left with the monsters… that dry my tears with their large, scaly fingers. Sharp nails run gently through my pigtails as I hear attempts at soothing tones through rough throats and guttural voices. I am offered a seat on the lap of a 15 ft tall, black and green, bipedal reptile with large brown scales running down his head and back of the neck like Mohawk dorsal fins. Once in his lap, he rocks me to sleep in front of the fire.
The same cabin is now a mess of clothes, empty boxes and overturned furniture. Investigating each room, a story assembles in my head. There are two children’s rooms, a master bedroom, a den and kitchen; this was a family’s house. A young girl left many stuffed animals behind in her hot pink room. A young boy didn’t manage to grab his action figures before the family hurried out. What happened to them all? I can only see speculations in my head. The only obvious details are a struggle, a hasty escape, and the unlikelihood of return. But then, I hear the door. There stands the disheveled mother with both her ragged children.
Our tryst is cut short by the sounds he hears in the distance. “Sorry, Love, I’ve got to go,” he says as he pulls his pants on while still eyeing me hungrily. “What is it?” I ask as I sit up. He nips at my lips, and I feel a cold nose on my cheek for a second. “Stolen car. They’re after me.” The Wolf peeks at me from behind the Thief’s skin. He throws on his green jacket and tosses me a key before he opens the front door. A paw sweeps me off the bed forcefully and pulls me into his body. Our faces collide in unchecked hunger; one more deep taste before he’s off. “Meet me again,” he growls as he motions to the key.